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Being in a room with Kevin Bacon stopped me from committing a heinous crime

November 16, 2011

*If you’re reading this in a reader/have your images turned off, you might want to head to the original post to see the pretty pictures*

I’ve wanted to strangle many people recently.  I actually researched sun ‘n sand get-away deals, because as I told Boyfriend, “I need to be in a different country than ______,” and if I had found a “too good to pass up” deal, I might’ve been typing this from a Costa Rican beach.

But Responsible Saya won out over Spontaneous Saya, and so I type from exotic Chicago.

Usually this is where I’d list all of the sufferings suffered by me.  The reason my last post was on September 11th is because I’ve been nutty-busy.  Most of it has been nutty-good.  But too often, what’s stressful and frustrating clouds all things lovely and requires an expenditure of energy that just isn’t worth it.

So I’m trying a new tactic – Positive Venting.  Focus not on my clenched fists but on the awesomeness that has sprinkled my life as of late, in hopes that recognizing why life is glorious, no matter the size of the glories, will dissipate all negativity —

Why I love life!

  • Sticking it to the IRS
  • Sticking it to Jesse White
    • For the first time in eleven years, I got to ignore my license plate sticker renewal form because when Boyfriend moved in, we decided we didn’t need to be a two-car household and so I sold Rosita last Spring
    • $99 to buy more must-have bags and fake-diamond jewelry
  • Helloooo Financial Planner!
    • While I’m financially-proud in some ways in regards to my seven-years of self-employment – I don’t live with mom, have no debt, and am able to occasionally supersize a meal – I’m not proud that ATM withdrawals and random checking deposits are about the extent of my financial planning
    • I’ve taken small steps: opened a health savings account, reopened a savings account, hired a tax-guy
    • But my 401K is covered in dust, I have a feeling I should be IRA’ing, CD’ing, or NASDAQ’ing it, and I throw my statements into the file cabinet without unfolding the tri-folded paper
    • So I made an appointment with a financial planner.  And wow!  The Taking Charge of My Future Crown sat atop my head instantaneously, and felt fantastic.
    • And it was studded with rubies no less because Financial Planner focuses on sustainable and responsible investing, and 10% of his profits are donated to local community non-profits
  • Dining with strangers
    • I attended a Grubwithus meal, where you choose to attend a meal based on the restaurant, the date/time, or the other people attending
    • It’s a fun way to explore the city and restaurants, as well an interesting way to meet others
    • I spent a Tuesday night at Logan Square’s Gosu with five guys and two girls
    • Lots of yummy food at a reasonable $27 price (taken care of pre-meal, so no dealing with cash night-of)
    • And folk say nice things about you on the website: Saya is definitely the hostess with the mostess! She took charge of the table introductions and kept the conversations flying, all while making it look easy and effortless! Its one of the few times I’ve seen where the far ends of the table were sharing stories and laughs. Don’t hesitate, if you get the chance to grub with Saya, do it!
  • I was one of five finalists in CRAIN Chicago’s “Day in the life of an entrepreneur” contest
    • My high-school students claimed the person who won won because of his “tug at the heart-strings” music
    • Noted.  Need more Yanni.
  • In my after-school program, I’m teaching entrepreneurship to 5th and 6th graders
    • Choose a business, name your business, research your competitors, write a business plan, create a logo, create a commercial, meet with funders, etc.
    • In our ninety-minute “board meeting” on Monday, the kids diligently wrote in their journals, discussed what makes a business successful, and did mock pitches (practiced eye-contact, firm hand-shakes, articulate speaking, professional body-language)
    • Darius, who plans on opening a restaurant, replied to “Who is your target clientele?” with “I won’t let people in whose clothes don’t match.”  Be warned Chicago.
  • Fear Experiment
    • Selection of the next round of Fear Experiment’ers occurred and what a group!  A rapper, a lawyer, a social worker, a biologist, an interior designer…
    • New crop of non-dancers and non-improvisers will rehearse January – March and perform at the Park West April 28th
    • Can’t wait to a) introduce them to each other and b) introduce them to the rest of the FE-family, now at sixty-three alum
    • If you think you might want to meet new folk and/or challenge yourself come the new year, it’s not too late to sign up for the wait list
    • Can’t believe how in two years a desire to “dance a hip-hop routine on stage” has turned into a two-times a year extravaganza at the Park West
  • Boyfriend and I were asked to co-present at one of Chicago’s premier events to help celebrate a big milestone for the organization (being mum on the details as it’s ridiculously soon and we have next to nothing prepared; worried about sucking — me not him.  The downfall of dating an improv guy, he’s ALWAYS funny and on-point)
  • TEDxMidwest
    • I attended this two-day gathering of folk who’ve climbed Mt. Everest, won MacArthur awards, invented stuff, and convicted klansman, and included random celebrities like Kevin Bacon, the “I’m a PC” guy, and Wes Craven
    • TEDxMidwest brings together a remarkable line-up of fascinating, innovative and influential speakers whose talks challenge, move and inspire.  TEDxMidwest brings together some of the most amazing people working across of a variety of disciplines, who all share a common bond of curiosity and strong desire to make a difference.
    • Though it was pricey, $100+, it was worth it
    • They had an open SWEETS-bar!  Cookies, the good kind of trail mix with M & Ms, movie theater boxes of candy..
    • Learned how UGGs became so popular via Kevin Bacon – actresses needed easy on and off shoe-ware when going from their trailers to movie sets, so they’d put on UGGs; when photos of them appeared in the press wearing these silly boots, the rest of the world had to have them.  A weather and efficiency statement turned into a fashion statement.
    • Disclaimer: I took away much more than candy and the history of UGGs, it really was an eye-opening experience
    • Discliamer #2: I love my UGGs
  • A happy Mac ‘n Cheese client
    • I wanted you to be one of the first to know.  I had my first paying client for travelightly!  The company was a random idea last December and I only had the guts to do something about it after going to your Coffee session and listening to you encourage others to start their own business.  I can’t thank you enough for always being supportive of people with crazy, random ideas and telling people that it’s okay to take a chance.  Without you, and Dance Experiment, I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now, and I have to say, I’m extremely happy where I am.  Thank you thank you thank you.
    • Note: Dance Experiment was the predecessor to Fear Experiment
  • One of my life highlights was being awarded the Martin Luther King Scholarship in college, which paid for 75% of my tuition senior year and put me in a group of people with whom I’m humbled to be connected
    • I was just asked to participate in celebrating thirty years of the award which brought back tons of great memories
  • Birthday celebration
    • I meant to have an intimate, hanging out on couches evening in honor of turning thirty-three, but “Oh this person should meet that person!” after “This person should meet that person!” resulted in twenty-two lovelies sharing pizza, wine and pumpkin ice cream at our place
    • Boyfriend gave me a pair of Boston College yoga pants I eyed back in April when we visited BC, a set of Lock ‘n Lock tupperware, and a premium subscription to Pandora (no ads!  unlimited playtime!).  A frugal, type A, efficiency-loving trove of treasures.
    • Friend from college sent a box that reminded me of those awesome summer camp carepackages –
      • candle
      • magazines (Entrepreneur, Inc., and Ode: intelligent optimist)
      • silicon oven mitt
      • baking pans
      • a pumpkin bread recipe that her husband made and brought to my dorm in college when I was sick (he even went as far as to bring it warm out of the oven, with butter and a knife, and then proceeded to fix my futon couch)
      • note to have Boyfriend bake the bread while I relax on the couch reading the magazines
  • Chicago Ideas Week (CIW)

    • Inaugural year of this gathering of speakers and innovators, at venues all over the city
    • I attended sessions on Social Entrepreneurship and Creativity, as well as Ignite, a platform where folk get five minutes to talk about whatever they want
    • Wonderfully executed, fantastic range of topics, and an accessible price-point for most of the events
  • The infectiousness of fear is catching on!
    • If you’ve followed Mac ‘n Cheese over the years, you know I’m a huge proponent of doing things that scare you and that push you out of your comfort zone, a la doing things solo (The Solo Life/Mac ‘n Cheese Minglers) and doing things you’re not great at in front of an audience (Fear Experiment)
    • Just learned of The Leapyear Project which asks, “What risk will you take to change your life, your community, or your world for the better?” and encourages people to document that risk in 2012 (a leap year)
  • Women’s Innovation Network (WIN) event
    • I biked down to the Fairmont Hotel for my first WIN Spa ‘n Cupcakes, a nice 2pm break in the day
    • Mingled with about forty others, mostly women, mostly business-owners
    • Regina Taylor, actress from I’ll Fly Away, Law & Order, and Lean on Me, spoke about her career and offered advice

        • What I do is dream and make my dreams concrete
        • You have the power to name yourself
        • Be both teacher and student
        • Expand yourself through creativity
        • There are 10,000 people in this room, via the circles within our circles; connect with one another
    • Favorite takeaway: new friendship with an uber-positive gal name Dawgelene Sangster, who is the founder of Think Royally, a non-profit that supports women in leading positive lives.  Quite a mission from a survivor of domestic violence, molestation, and rape.  I was so impressed with Dr. Dawj, as she’s called, that I selected her to be in CRAVE Chicago, a book featuring our city’s need-to-know female entrepreneurs due out soon!, and asked her to present at Potluck! 2.0, an evening of Chicago’s finest talking for six-minutes each on whatever they want
  • Self-Starter Supper Club
    • Hosting an evening of food, drink, and entrepreneurial-folk as we get inspired by speakers Mari Luangrath of Foiled Cupcakes and Paul Lee of Lightbank
    • Guests are encouraged to come solo
    • Meeting new people surrounded by couches, inspiration, and the Avett Brothers, yes please!

Strangle who?

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